Man pleads not guilty in Fallbrook church attack, victim identif - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Man pleads not guilty in Fallbrook church attack, victim identified

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VISTA (CNS) - A 21-year-old man accused of attacking three men outside a Fallbrook church, punching two of them and stomping an 86-year-old to death, pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

Keith Vasquez of Fallbrook was ordered held on $1 million bail in connection with the attacks, which authorities believe were random.

Deputies responding to reports of a disturbance in the 300 block of East Elder Street shortly before noon on Wednesday contacted two of the victims, aged 62 and 63, who said they were painting the exterior of Hilltop Center For Spiritual Living when a young stranger accosted and beat them without provocation and then ran off, Lt. Kenneth Nelson said.

Deputies found Fallbrook resident Magnus Johnson gravely injured in an alley at the west side of the church. Medics took Johnson to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, where he was pronounced dead from blunt-force head and chest trauma.

About 12:30 p.m., patrol personnel searching the area spotted Vazquez, who matched the assailant's description, and took him into custody.

Witnesses identified Vazquez as the alleged attacker, and he was arrested.

Authorities have disclosed no suspected motive for the violence.

Vasquez faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted. He will be back in court Oct. 4 for a readiness conference and Oct. 6 for a preliminary hearing.

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